The Calgary area was settled by Europeans but has been inhabited for 11,000 years and the first were the Pre-Clovis people. Calgary is located between the Canadian Rockies and the Canadian Prairies. It is well placed for a variety of winter sports and is known for its ecotourism. There are a number of major mountain resorts near the city.

Every summer from early to mid July the city is host to the Calgary Stampede. It is called The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. This summer event is a combination of a festival, exhibition, and rodeo all rolled into one. The event takes place in the Beltline District. Some of the other annual festivals include, The Folk Festival, The Lilac Festival, Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts, Word Fest, an International Writer’s Festival, Global Fest and the largest Caribbean Festival in the country.

Calgary is considered a transportation hub for much of central and western Canada. Calgary international Airport (YYC), in the city's northeast, is the third largest in Canada by aircraft movements and is a major cargo hub. Non-stop destinations include cities throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. The Rocky Mountaineer and Royal Canadian Pacific provide regular interurban passenger tour rail service to Calgary.